Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
- What is gastritis?
- What causes gastritis?
- What are the symptoms of gastritis?
- How is gastritis diagnosed?
- What are the treatment medications and home remedies for gastritis?
- What are the complications of gastritis?
- What is the prognosis of gastritis?
- How is gastritis prevented?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What is gastritis?
Gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Unfortunately, the term "gastritis" has been misused to include many different upper abdominal problems, but true gastritis refers to the stomach lining (gastric mucosa) that is inflamed. All or part of the gastric mucosa may be involved. Gastritis may be classified as acute or chronic. Acute gastritis maybe characterized as erosive (damaged areas where mucosal cells are disrupted or missing) and nonerosive. Chronic gastritis is determined by histopathology (appearance of the gastric mucosa). This article will focus on true gastritis. Gastritis has many causes, but most causes result in similar symptoms. This has leads to some confusion and is the reason why many health care professionals now consider the term "gastritis" as a non-specific description of a cluster of symptoms.
What causes gastritis?
A major cause of both acute and chronic gastritis is infection of the stomach mucosa by a bacterial species named Helicobacter pylori. Usually, this bacterium first infects the stomach antrum (stomach mucosa without acid-producing cells) acutely and may progress to infect most or all of the stomach's mucosa over time (chronic gastritis) and remain there for years. This infection generates an initial strong inflammatory response and eventually, a long-term chronic inflammation with intestinal cell changes may develop. Another major cause of acute and chronic gastritis is the use (and overuse) of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
However, there are many other causes of gastritis; the following is a list of common causes of both acute and chronic gastritis; chronic gastritis may occur with repeated or continual presence of most of these causes:
- Bacterial, viral and parasitic infections
- Certain drugs (cocaine)
- Bile reflux
- Fungal infections
- Allergic reactions
- Stress reaction
- Certain food poisonings (infectious and chemical)
In general, infectious agents, especially Helicobacter pylori, and NSAIDs are responsible for the majority of gastritis patients.
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